Telescopium is fainted medium-size constellation in the southern hemisphere, that contains star no brighter than the 4th magnitude. The best time to look for it is during culmination in August and it is located between Corona Australis, Indus and Ara constellations. The constellation was not known to Ptolemy and was first introduced by French astronomer de Lacaille in the mid-18th century. He was the one to name some of the southern hemisphere constellations that were not known or spotted before. He often used technical novelties for naming new constellations, and Telescopium was his honor to the invention of the telescopes. At first, he referred to it as "Tubus Astronomicus”
How to find Telescopium constellation in the night sky?
Telescopium is the 57th constellation in size, and it is set in the fourth quadrant of the southern hemisphere. The constellation is best visible during culmination in August and could be seen to all observers at latitudes between +40° and -90°.
Telescopium constellation is a member of the Lacaille family of constellations with Antlia, Caelum, Circinus, Fornax, Horologium, Mensa, Microscopium, Norma, Octans, Pictor, Sculptor and Reticulum constellations.
Major stars in Telescopium constellations
Constellations contain no stars with confirmed planets and Messier objects. So far there aren’t any meteor showers linked to Telescopium. The brightest star in the constellation is Alpha Telescopii, with a magnitude of 3.49.
Alpha Telescopii is a type of variable star and it is almost 800 times more luminous than the actual Sun. This one was a member of Corona Australis constellations in the 2nd century CE, thanks to greek astronomer Ptolemy who first depicted it. Alpha star is a white-blue subgiant star with magnitude 3.49 and is 278 light-years away from our planet Earth.
Mythology of the Telescopium Constellation
Telescopium constellation was recently discovered and therefore is not associated with any myths from ancient Greece and Rome. Ptolemy didn’t list this one in his 48 then-known constellations, and the reason for that lies in the fact that most of the southern hemisphere constellations were not visible to Greeks at that time. The constellation was cataloged by famous French astronomer Nicolas de Lacaille, who names some of the southern sky constellations who were not spotted and documented before. He mapped this one during his South Africa trip in the mid-18th century and named it after the invention of the telescope in Paris Observatory.
For de Lacaille, the Telescopium constellation at first extended to the north between 2 other Zodiac constellations that was the top of the telescope’s tube – Scorpius and Sagittarius. The Belgian astronomer Eugène Delporte was the one who set the official border to Telescopium constellations in the mid-20th century. Today, this constellation is set right between Corona Australis and Sagittarius constellations.
De Lacaille placed the star Beta Telescopi at the top of the mast. The star, later on, became Eta Sagittarii, and the Gamma star of Telescopium constellation was positioned to the upper part of the telescope’s tube as G Scorpii and became part of Scorpius constellations. Theta Telescopii was used to mark the objective lens on the refractor od the device, but later on, it was also moved to another constellation – Ophiuchus.
Constellation is now accepted and recognized by International Astronomical Union and therefore listed as one of the 88 known modern constellations.